The Sacramento Bee has been named a 2017 James Madison Freedom of Information Awards recipient for its investigation of UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi.
The awards, sponsored by the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists, recognize Northern California organizations and individuals who have made significant contributions to advancing freedom of information and/or expression in the spirit James Madison, the creative force behind the First Amendment, according to a news release.
The Bee and KQED received awards in the “news organization” category. The Sacramento Bee was recognized for the investigation by writers Diana Lambert and Sam Stanton that “revealed UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi had accepted questionable board seats, traveled first class on the university’s dime and spent hundreds of thousands of public dollars to manage her online image,” the announcement of the award stated. The reporting led to a University of California investigation, followed by Katehi’s resignation in August.
KQED was honored for its investigation into the financial dealings and eventual removal of Hayward Police Chief Diane Stuart. A lawsuit filed by KQED forced disclosure of 269 pages of records that showed Stuart’s husband Clark D. Stuart II was paid at least double what was due under a city contract and may have exerted undue influence over city matters, according to the news release.
The two news organizations and other award recipients will be honored at an awards dinner hosted by the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists Freedom of Information Committee on March 22 at the City Club in San Francisco.